The state Republican chairman, Jerry Labriola, is blasting the increase in the state’s complicated gasoline tax that added about four cents per gallon Monday to prices at the pump across Connecticut.
But Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he was not the governor when the controversial increase was approved back in 2005 under Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
“Today’s $60 million gas tax hike, one of the largest in state history, comes at a time when it will hurt Connecticut families the most,” Labriola said in a statement. “Thanks to the ‘different path’ Governor Malloy has chosen for our state, Connecticut continues to boast some of the highest taxes, the worst roads, and the most stagnant economy in the nation.”
Labriola added, “To add insult to injury, the extra $60 million motorists are expected to pay over the next year will not go into the Special Transportation Fund that was created to fix our worst-in-the-nation bridges and roads. Instead, Governor Malloy is raiding the fund for the entire $60 million gas tax increase — as well as an additional $30 million — and using that critical funding for transportation infrastructure to support his insatiable thirst for big government spending.”
The tax went up Monday by about 4 cents per gallon, based on the wholesale price of gasoline. The state also has a separate gasoline tax of 25 cents per gallon, which is a fixed rate that does not change when the wholesale price fluctuates.
Malloy said recently that he would not make any moves to stop the tax increase that took effect on Monday because the legislature had already decided – back in 2005 under Rell – to hike the tax as part of a long-term plan.
“I wasn’t governor in 2005,” Malloy told reporters. “I wasn’t the minority leader of the House or the minority leader of the Senate in 2005.”
He added, “I do know that, in the state of Connecticut, we need to get transportation right. We need a coordinated policy. We are developing that. I left out Route 11, which I still believe should be completed, as well as the interchange at 395 and 95, which has never worked properly. We need to move forward on transportation specifically, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
More than 16,000 people, as of last week, had signed a petition against the increase.